Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our Current School Stuff

I could go through the list of educational stuff that I do with the babies but suffice it to say that they play....a lot.  We read, we color, we practice letters, numbers, shapes, biggest/littlest, get the idea.  Bear will start "formal" preschool next year.  I will post about all that stuff next year :)

For now, we are focusing on Greg.  He is 10, 5th grade.  Just finished Saxon 54....I will be ordering the next level (65 I think) sometime next week.  We are using  A Reason for Handwriting to learn cursive.  He hates it, I make him do it anyway.  It is what it is.  For science we are using Creation Science unit study by Media Angels.  Very thorough and he seems to like it.  We are also basing writing assignments and spelling words from that study.  Works for me.  That brings us to history.  I like Sonlight.  Actually, I LOVE Sonlight.  We finished up Core 4 in December.  We can't afford to buy another core right now.  So I am improvising.  I borrowed Diana Waring's new Ancient History curriculum available from Answers In Genesis from a friend.  It is nice.  It is geared with activities for all learning styles.  We skip most of them but that is ok.  I read the lesson to him on the first day, then he spends several days listening to material on the provided CD's, does the Bible reading assignments, we discuss the discussion questions, do timeline/map work.  Then he chooses a research/report topic from those given.  I have been giving him 3 days to do the report and he presents it at supper that night for the whole family.  That is forcing him to work on his thought organization and accountability. The whole history units are taking us 2-3 weeks.   He is reading books I assign that we are still working on from Core 4 (we got behind on that reading somehow) or Louis L'Amore.  He really likes westerns.  Our library card expired and I don't have any money for that either so I guess he will be reading my books for a while.  For read-aloud right now, we are reading through D'Aulares Greek Myths.  I thought he would like that but he doesn't.  Go figure! 

How our day goes:
I get home from taking Lee to the bus at about 7:45 a.m.  Greg gets up about 7:15 so I encourage him to get breakfast and get dressed when I get back.  School is supposed to start at 8.  Sometimes it is 8:30. 

At 8 a.m. Greg and I would sit down, I would read read-aloud, history lesson and we would work through the science lesson.  Then I would teach the math lesson and go over any spelling for the day.  After that, Greg is on his own to complete history CDs, Bible reading, regular reading, math worksheets and lessons, handwriting lessons, grammar corrections, spelling practice, etc.  The papers go on my pile and I will stop and grade/correct them as I go through the morning.  If he applies himself, he is almost always done by 10:30. 

Bear starts begging me to play with him at 8 a.m.  I send Greg to get started on independent school work (I have all sheets, etc in a folder for each day so he can do that).  At 8:30 I manage to get away from the kids and we do read-aloud.  Then Abby wants a bottle so he works some more on his own.  I manage to get her asleep and put down and we read through history (or I start CDs).  Abby starts screaming so I quickly teach the math lesson.  I get her calmed down, convince Bear he can play with her or alone and manage to get science taught.  Greg finishes his independent paperwork and begs for a break.  I let him take one.  He comes back around 10 and works on math.  Then he convinces me that he will do his independent reading later.  He disappears.  Throughout the day I remind him until he finally gets tired of listening to me and just DOES the 30 mins. of reading. 

How's that for keeping it real?  You can tell if there is something special planned for the afternoon because Greg will just sit down and do his stuff.  You can tell when Dad is home because the schedule goes almost exactly like the ideal scenario.  The rest of the time, it is a crap shoot.  LOL 

Greg says he is staying home for school next year (6th grade).  He is wanting to try Switched on Schoolhouse on CD.  Hmmmm.......I guess we shall see.

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